What is a sore throat? it’s symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention

What is a
sore throat?

A young girl coughing on a street due to a sore throat
A sore
throat is pain, itchiness, or irritation of the throat that often worsens when
you swallow.


throat is typically caused by infection with any one of a large number of
viruses or less commonly bacteria.
·       The most
common source of a sore throat (pharyngitis) is a viral infection,
illnesses that cause a sore throat include:
  1. Common cold
  2. Flu
  3. Mono
  4. Chickenpox
  5. Measles
  6. Croup — a frequent
    childhood illness characterized by a harsh, barking cough
Occasionally, sore throat can have other causes such as,
excessively dry air (e.g. from air conditioning), allergies, irritants (e.g.
tobacco smoke, pollution), voice strain or gastro-esophageal reflux disease
(where acid from the stomach rises into the esophagus (food pipe) and throat).
Strep throat (streptococcal infection), is a rare type of
sore throat caused by bacteria, it requires treatment with antibiotics
to prevent complications. Similarly, other less common causes of sore throat
might require more complex treatment.
·        Cancerous
tumors of the throat, voice box(larynx), or tongue can cause a sore throat.
Other symptoms or signs may include hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, noisy
breathing, a lump in the neck, and blood in saliva or phlegm.
·       Drinking alcohol, chewing tobacco and eating
spicy foods also can irritate your throat


women in bed having neck pain due to a sore throat
Symptoms of sore throat depend on what caused
it in the first place. However, they are some general symptoms
such as:
Gradually increasing pain in the throat
A feeling of itchiness in the throat while speaking
difficulty swallowing
sore or swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
swollen red tonsils
a lowered voice
coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose
a fever
·       infections causing a
sore throat might result in other symptoms and signs, including:

Runny nose
Body aches
Nausea or vomiting.
If you are suffering from a strep throat, white areas or patches
of pus will form on the tonsils. These white patches or areas are more common
in strep throat than in a sore throat caused by a virus.

Treatment and home remedies:


·        In the case of a
bacterial infection, such as strep throat, a doctor may prescribe an
·       Sore throats due to a
viral infection typically start to improve within 7 days and do not require
medical treatment. Acetaminophen mild pain relievers may help with the pain and
·       If investigations reveal
a tumor or any another cause, the doctor will discuss appropriate treatment
options with the individual.

Home Remedies:

·       Gargle with a mixture of
salt and warm water.
·       Drink warm liquids that
feel soothing to the throat, such as soup broth, hot tea with honey, or warm
water with lemon.
·       Cool your throat by
eating a cold treat like an iced tea or ice cream.
·       Turn on a cool-mist
humidifier to add humidity to the air.
·       Rest your voice until
your throat feels better.
·       Dilute peppermint oil
sprays may also relieve sore throats. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps

sore throats and coughs and thin mucus.
·       Garlic is also known to
have natural antibacterial properties and can
fight off infections. Thus, adding
fresh garlic to your diet can soothe and potentially cure a sore throat.
·       Similar to garlic, apple
cider vinegar also has many natural antibacterial uses.
Because of its acidic
nature, it can be used to stop bacteria from spreading and help break down
mucus in the throat.
You can dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV in one cup of water and
gargle with it, whenever symptoms of sore throat start to show themselves.


Some simple steps can help to prevent a sore
·        avoid touching your mouth or nose.
·       wash
hands frequently, including after coughing and sneezing.
·       do
not share drinking glasses, eating utensils, or food.
·       Limit
your mouths contact with public drinking fountains
·       sneeze
or cough into a tissue, throw it away, and instantly wash both hands.
·       avoid
close interaction with people who are sick and stay away from people if you are
·       avoid
being near smoke or smoking.

should you be worried?

·       If
your child shows the following symptoms, you should immediately take him to
the doctor.

·       Has
difficultly breathing and swallowing 
·       However,
if you are an adult
you should look for these symptoms before contacting
a doctor

·       Trouble
·       trouble
·       trouble
opening your mouth
·       frequent sore throats
·       a
fever of 101 F or higher, that doesn’t get better within 24-48 hours
·       swelling
in your face or neck
·        symptoms and signs of dehydration, such
as dry mouth and passing less urine than normal.

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